We're Dean & Paula and we've been married for 30+ years and have two sons. We celebrated our Pearl anniversary in September 2021.

We met through the Real Life Mission in Sevenoaks, Kent back in 1985, and should have known that a relationship born through mission was only going to go one way!

We first got involved with overseas mission in 1997 when we went to Tanzania for three weeks. We then spent ‘98 in Tanzania before heading off to Bible College in ’99.

After Bible College we went to Zimbabwe for three years, initially working with a project for street kids in Harare city centre, and then church planting into a northern suburb of the city.

We returned to Blighty in 2003, and whilst there we were invited to work for a church in South Africa, reaching out to a former squatter camp. We moved to SA in 2004 where we remain to this day.

We've hit a few speed bumps along the way, but to cut a few long stories short, we planted The Gathering Community Church in Firgrove in the Western Cape in 2014 and have been loving it ever since.

In 2011 we came under the umbrella of Christians Abroad where we happily remain as associate mission partners.

A bit more about us...

Dean's passion is local church, but outside of that he loves to read, he also recently took up boxing, having had two white collar fights so far, both of which he really enjoyed. Dean is also an avid unicycler and regularly rides his 36" uni around the neighbourhood.

Paula loves the Crossfit box and enjoys spending time making friends, which of course involves time sampling the various coffee shops in the area. Paula is a busy working mum running a private taxi company for two teenage boys, pastoring The Gathering and leading our women's ministry, as well as running  HOPE, our Home Based Care Team which she set up.

We both have a passion for Crystal Palace FC and having colonised Zimbabwe for the Red n’ Blue Army, it’s obviously time to spread the word to other parts of Africa!

We both always felt that we were called to serve God in the UK - God has a sense of humour!!

That's us, but what about the blog?

We really want to stress that this is a personal blog!

Facing The Mountain is not a theological article, it's not a mission agency blog, nor is it a church blog. Whilst we may post about these things, any views expressed here are entirely personal.